Week 23

Wekelijkse selectie van nieuws uit Zimbabwe

Shops Now Using US$1 To ZWL$7 000 Street Rate – Biti

On Tuesday, former Finance Minister Tendai Biti said shops were using the US$1 to ZWL$7000. He said:  This evening some shops are now using a rate of 1US$ to ZWL$7000. Zimbabwe is now at that precipe where the exchange rate is now in the self-fulfilling free fall zone that we saw in 2008. 

Sadly they don’t panic & they don’t care. This election is now about saving Zimbabwe, saving livelihoods. 


Zimbabwe: Decoding the Zimbabwe Election Process Ahead of August 23 Polls

As Zimbabweans prepare to cast their ballots in 2 months’ time, allAfrica takes a look at how the southern African country’s electoral process works. 

President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that the country’s presidential and legislative elections will take place on August 23. The announcement comes at a time Zimbabwe struggles with a severe economic crisis but we are not focusing on that today. 

First, the Zimbabwe government consists of an elected head of state and a legislature. The presidential term lasts for 5 years, and is elected by majority, with a second round if no candidate receives a majority in the first round. The Parliament is bicameral, consisting of the National Assembly and Senate. 

Now, during harmonised elections, there will be a number of different elections that will take place at the same time. First, there will be direct elections for the presidency, with the 210 National Assembly seats up for grabs, and the local government seats in both the urban and rural areas. 


Diasporans Forgotten 

The promise of a Diaspora vote by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, once seen as a beacon of hope for Zimbabweans living abroad, has been nothing but a broken promise. Elections in Zimbabwe are only a few months away, and yet, nothing has been done to implement the voting of diasporans. The right to vote is not just a legal right; it is a fundamental human right that allows individuals to have a say in the governance of their country. One of the main reasons why Zimbabweans choose to leave their country is the lack of opportunities, and the promise of a better future.


US embassy refuses to back down over ‘register to vote’ tweet

Elaine French, the Charge d’Affaires at the US embassy in Harare, was summoned for a meeting with the acting foreign affairs secretary Rofina Chikava after the embassy posted a tweet urging Zimbabweans to “register to vote and make sure your voice is heard.” 

Zimbabwe’s acting foreign secretary Rofina Chikava  expressed concern over “election related-social media posts, bordering on activism and meddling in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs,” the ministry said. 

“She stressed that the conduct by the US Embassy was unacceptable as it deviated from conventional diplomatic norms and values enshrined in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961). The ministry also urged the US embassy to refrain from posting such messages in the spirit of re-engagement between our two countries,” the statement added. 


Zim dollar continues on a free fall

The Zimbabwean dollar slid further Tuesday trading at $3 674 to the greenback, according to the central bank’s auction results. Authorities had hoped for an imminent recovery of the moribund currency when the Zim dollar ended the week at $2 557. The official rate, albeit more conservative falls short of the parallel market rate. 

On the black market, the local currency is trading between $4 500 and $6 000 to the US dollar decimating salaries of impoverished Zimbabweans. 

According to economists the local currency has lost 80% value since April as the Zimbabwean dollar witnessed a second carnage in just a decade. Zimbabwe decommissioned its local currency in 2009 but in 2019, the government announced a Zimdollar comeback along with other stronger currencies. 


Mugodhi Apostolic Faith Church backs President, Zanu PF The Herald (state owned)

Mugodhi Apostolic Faith Church congregants should vote for President Mnangagwa and Zanu PF in the harmonised elections set for August 23, church leader Bishop Washington Mugodhi said yesterday. 

Bishop Mugodhi urged congregants to work with traditional leaders in their communities to mobilise more people to rally behind the ruling party and the President. He was addressing congregants at Kamhororo Business Centre during a provincial Pentecostal gathering in Gokwe. 


UZ lecturers declare incapacitation

Association of University Teachers (AUT) said the lecturers could no longer afford to come to work, feed their families and meet other normal expenses such as school fees, medical bills and rent.  

UNIVERSITY of Zimbabwe (UZ) lecturers have declared incapacitation, joining a growing list of workers in the private and public sectors pushing for United States dollar salaries. 

In a letter addressed to the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministry, the Association of University Teachers (AUT), which represents the interests of academic staff at universities, said UZ lecturers were now failing to make ends meet. 

“To illustrate the situation, as of October 2018, a junior lecturer’s monthly salary was US$2 258, (“pre-October 2018 salary scales”) …,” the letter read in part. 

“By September 2022, the situation had reached unconscionable levels of a salary worth less than US$200 for a junior lecturer. Such a salary was lower than the lowest paid general worker in the private sector.” 


Faz casts dark cloud over Zim polls

THE involvement of parallel structures in the running of elections has raised alarm, with main opposition official Tendai Biti demanding that Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri present a ministerial statement on the role of the shadowy Forever Associates Zimbabwe (Faz) outfit in electoral processes. 

Controversy has risen over the establishment of Faz which, as previously reported by The NewsHawks, has taken over electoral processes. The organisation is led by Central Intelligence Organisation co-deputy director-general retired Brigadier-General Walter Tapfumaneyi. Legal experts say the CIO move and channelling of public resources to its shadowy structure is unconstitutional. 

Sources say, so far, Faz has received US$10 million and 200 cars to run its affairs in preparation for elections. More resources have been promised to capacitate the secret structure. 


Over 1,000 boreholes drilled under Presidential Rural Development Programme | The Chronicle (state owned)

The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) so far drilled over 1000 boreholes under the Presidential Rural Development Programme (PRDP) with Matabeleland North and South provinces accounting for nearly 200. 

In a statement, Zinwa spokesperson Mrs Marjorie Munyonga said as of May 30, 2023, Zinwa had drilled 1 020 boreholes across the country as part of the ongoing Presidential Rural Development Programme. 

The Presidential Rural Development Programme was launched in 2021 and is aimed at uplifting the living standards of rural communities. 

Mrs Munyonga said under the programme, Zinwa is set to drill and equip 35 000 boreholes across the country’s eight rural provinces in a development that will see each of the country’s 35 000 villages getting a borehole. 


Zec invites observers for forthcoming polls The Herald (state owned)

All those who want to observe the forthcoming harmonised elections on August 23 must now apply to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. 

President Mnangagwa recently made it clear that Zimbabwe had nothing to hide as the country had put everything in place to ensure the election is free, fair and transparent. 

The deadline for applications to ZEC is August 18, four days before election day. 

Local observers will be charged a fee of US$10, observers from the rest of Africa US$100, those from foreign embassies in Zimbabwe US$300, and observers from any country outside Africa US$400. 


Women get free-range chickens The Herald (state owned)

ZANU PF Churu constituency candidate, Cde Ephraim Fundukwa, has hit the ground running after rolling out several projects in the area in line with President Mnangagwa’s clarion call of leaving no one and no place behind. 

More than 5 000 women in Ushewokunze and Southlea Park received free range chicks donated by Cde Fundukwa yesterday. At least 12 500 chicks were donated to women as part of empowering them. 

The poultry scheme is set to increase their income and alleviate poverty through commercialising urban poultry production, and each group of 10 women in the area was handed 100 chicks. 


Hwange Units 7 & 8 to gobble US$35m per month

THE  Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC)  has revealed that it will need US$35 million per month to buy power from Hwange Power Station’s  two new units, but questions about whether the government will be able to provide the money linger. 

ZETDC, which is a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, buys energy from power stations and then sells it to its customers. 

The two units, set to be fully operational by September or October 2023, are expected to add 600MW to the national grid to ease the shortages of electricity in the country due to growing demand. 

 Unit 7 was successfully synchronised in March this year while Unit 8 will be synchronised soon. 


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